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Jill Duggar Did Not Want to Film Son’s Birth for ‘Counting On’



Jill Duggar of TLC’s Counting On says she felt intense pressure to allow cameras into the delivery room as she gave birth to her first child, Israel, in 2015. 

Jill, now 32 and a mother of three, opened up in the Prime Video docuseries Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets about what it was really like to film her family’s popular reality show. She says she felt like she had no choice but to fall in line with her dad Jim Bob Duggar’s demands that she and her husband, Derick Dillard, share their lives with millions of TV viewers. But when it came to letting a film crew document her labor, she tried to put her foot down. 

As her due date approached, she says producers approached her about filming the birth. When she told them she didn’t want cameras there, they expressed shock. 

“I knew for sure, like, nobody’s in my delivery room,” she says in the four-episode series, which premiered June 2. “Like nobody. And nobody’s there for the labor, like watching me. I don’t want any of that.” 

Jill “didn’t want to go through what Anna went through,” Derick said, referring to Jill’s sister-in-law, the wife of her brother Josh Duggar. Several of Anna’s home births were featured on 19 Kids and Counting. 

But Jill and Derick’s attempts to keep one of the most intimate moments of their life private weren’t successful. 


“We basically lost,” Derick says. “They’re going to get what they want.” 

Producers ended up giving the couple video cameras and instructing them to document Jill’s multi-day labor themselves. 

“We did diary cams,” she recalled. “We did a lot of work. So they still got the footage.” 

Jill Duggar says she never received any money for her work on ‘Counting On’

Jill ultimately delivered Israel via C-section after laboring for 70 hours. A two-hour Counting On special later aired documenting his birth.

Later, Jill and Derick contacted the network to ask for help covering some of their medical expenses. 

“We asked TLC to pay us enough just to cover what our out-of-pocket costs were for health insurance for Israel’s birth,” Jill says. 


TLC told the couple they’d already paid Jill’s dad Jim Bob. If they wanted money, they should “take it up with him.” 

As Jill has previously said, she never received any money for her years of appearances on 19 Kids and Counting and Counting On. 

“I never received any payout,” she says. “No check, no cash, no nothing.” 

Even after Jill became an adult and married, all money from the family’s reality show went to her dad. She says she was urged to sign a contract the day before her marriage without understanding what she was agreeing to. 

“For seven and a half years of my adult life, I was never paid,” she says. 

Derick later confronted Jim Bob about how Jill had never been compensated for Counting On. That ultimately led to Jill and Derick leaving the show.

Jill and Derick say Jim Bob offered her a lump sum for her previous work on the show. In exchange, she would have to sign a contract with her father’s company committing her to the show “forever.” The couple balked. Soon after, they learned they’d no longer appear on Counting On. 


“We found out on social that our relationship with TLC, if we ever had a relationship with TLC, came to an end at that time,” Derick said. 

Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets is now streaming on Prime Video. 

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Source: Cheat Sheet


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